If you’ve decided to start blogging but are struggling to decide on what niche to blog about, stick around because this post is for you!
I’m going to reveal to you the 3 steps to go through to pick the perfect niche, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.
Choosing a niche to blog about can be one of the most time-consuming aspects when it comes to starting your blog.
It may be that you have a million ideas and you can’t decide on one. Or maybe you don’t have any ideas at all.
Whichever boat you’re in, I’m here to help you pick the perfect niche for your blog.
If anyone’s scratching their heads at the moment, let’s check off the basics.
What is a niche in blogging?
A blog niche is a subject that you’ll write about that will appeal to a particular audience. This can be as broad or as specific as you want.
Here is an example:
- Broad niche: health and fitness
- More specific niche: CrossFit for the over 40s
I’m 40 and a huge fitness fan, so choosing from the two examples above is a no-brainer. I’m 36,874,676,852 times more likely to follow the more specific blog as the posts will be much more relatable.
In general, the more specific your niche is, the more passionate your audience is likely to be.
But just how narrow should your niche be?
Well, before anyone goes away and starts blogging about seat covers for the 1980 Datsun Sunny, remember…the more specific your niche is, the smaller the audience will be.
It’s also worth noting that you could be posting every week, maybe even every day, for years. If your niche is very narrow, this could get unbelievably difficult to maintain.
Try to strike a good balance.
Do I need a niche?
So, at this point you might be asking yourself “can’t I just blog about anything and everything?” 🤔
Well sure, there’s nothing to stop you doing that if you really want to. But it’s unlikely that your readers will be interested in all of the things that you are. This makes it harder to build an audience.
If you start out trying to help everyone with a very broad niche, chances are you won’t help as many people as you set out to.
Let’s narrow our target audience and become really proficient at helping them. Visitors should be able to identify your strengths as soon as they land on your blog.
Now seems like a good point to look at some mistakes beginners make when choosing a niche to blog about.
Most common mistakes beginners make when picking a blog niche
Mistake 1: Chasing profits over passion.
Choosing a niche that you have no interest in because it’s the most profitable is a surefire way to fail.
Your audience will be able to tell if you’re not genuinely interested in something, and you’ll probably burn out quickly.
You’ll go from posting every week to once a month, to once in a blue moon.
Find something you enjoy writing about and I’m sure you can make money from it, if that’s your objective.
Here’s a post in Forbes from a few years ago that highlights how much money you can make in a variety of niches.
Mistake 2: Skipping the research
Whether or not you intend to make money from your blog, you should treat it like a business, in the planning phase at least.
Most beginners want to get stuck right in and start as soon as possible..and I salute your eagerness.
But if you don’t put the work at the beginning, it will probably come back to bite you in the butt.
Like any business, you need to test and validate your theories. Assumptions lead to mistakes.
Here are some ideas on what research you should be doing:
- Make sure you’re checking what other blogs are out there;
- Check the volume of traffic they’re getting using SimilarWeb;
- Look at the interest in your niche using Google Trends
Mistake 3: Thinking you have to find a niche with no competition
A lot of beginners think they have to avoid what they consider to be saturated markets. And while it is true that you need to narrow down your niche, it’s important to acknowledge that competition is a good thing!
It means there is an interest in your chosen topic. If you find a niche with no competition, it might mean that no one cares.
Instead of shying away from competition, understand what you can do to make your blog unique.
The biggest thing that will differentiate your blog from all of the others is YOU! Your character, your knowledge, your experiences.
This will be key to making your blog a unique experience for your visitors.
So now you know what mistakes to avoid, how do you find your niche?
3 steps to finding your perfect blog niche
Step 1: Let’s start brainstorming
Here’s where you start brainstorming ideas. Take out a sheet of paper, open a Word document, or open a notes app.
Set up two columns, and list all of your skills in one and all of your passions in the other.
If you think you don’t have a skill that you could blog about, ask yourself:
- what do I enjoy teaching others?
- do I have any unique experiences?
- what do I have a lot of experience in?
- what can I do better than the average person?
If you’re struggling to identify your passions, some questions to ask are:
- what do I enjoy talking about?
- what are topics I read about a lot?
- what are my hobbies?
Don’t hold back at this stage. List everything that comes to mind, even if you think it’s super embarrassing.
Check the lists to see if there is anything that falls into both columns. You want something that is both a skill and a passion, but I’d advise putting more weight on topics your passionate about.
For example, I’m really good with Excel and working with data, so I’d pop that in my “Skills” column, but it’s not something I’d be really passionate about blogging about.
On the flip side, I’d be reluctant to blog about something I love if I’m completely useless and know nothing about it!
Once you have your lists, start narrowing them down until you have a handful left.
Step 2: Expand your list into sub-niches
Once you have your final favorite few (try saying that five times fast!) it’s time to think about how you could expand them.
Think of a few sub-niches that you could write about for each of the broader ones. To clarify, a sub-niche is a smaller segment of that market.
Let’s say you have running on your list. You love keeping fit and you could spend hours talking about it.
Great! But this is a big market. You’re going to have to do some work to narrow it down a bit before you search for great sub-niches.
A good way to start narrowing it down is to think about who you’re going to write for. Easy peasy…go to Google and type in your niche followed by for.
Ok, running for beginners look promising. This would be a great topic to start blogging about now because there are thousands of people taking up exercise as we try to ride out the pandemic.
The next step is to go to Google Trends and continue your research. This will be really valuable because you will get an indication of search trends for that topic, and you’ll get ideas for sub-niches!
To start, enter your topic in the search bar and hit enter.
Here you can see how your search term is trending. This example looks great because we can see interest has increased recently. There is incomplete data shown with the dotted line, but the numbers are still good.
Now scroll to the bottom of the screen and you’ll see a list of related terms, along with their recent performance.
This has revealed some amazing ideas for sub-niches – best running shoes for beginners, trail running for beginners, and running workouts for beginners.
So, there’s a great idea for a blog, as well as three solid ideas for sub-niches in less than a minute!
Step 3: Write a list of 50+ blog posts in your chosen niche
Ok, you probably think I’ve gone crazy 🤪 but let me explain this.
If you want your blog to be successful, you should be planning to be blogging for the long term.
To do this, it’s imperative that you’re able to write consistent posts throughout the year.
Putting in the work now will help identify if it’s even possible to post regularly in your niche.
Doing this upfront may be challenging, but it will more frustrating for you to go through the effort of starting your blog only to find that it’s not sustainable.
Not only that, but imagine how much time and money you would have wasted.
If at this point you find that you can’t think up 50 ideas for blog posts, think about whether you can broaden your niche a little.
Common mistakes new bloggers make when choosing a niche:
- Chasing profits over passion.
- Skipping the research.
- Thinking you have to find a niche with no competition
Steps to selecting your perfect blog niche:
- Start brainstorming your passions and skills.
- Expand your list into several sub-niches.
- Make sure you can write at least 50 blog posts before committing to your niche.
So, there we are. My tips for finding your perfect blog niche. As always, if you have any questions or comments, pop a message below.
Until next time, take care.